Briana Williams has opted not to travel to Birmingham, England to compete at the Commonwealth Games as her flight will only get her into the United Kingdom on Tuesday morning, the same day track and field action begins at the 2022 Games.

Following the decision of Shericka Jackson, Natasha Morrison and Stephenie-Ann McPherson to withdraw from the Jamaican contingent, the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) sought clearance from the Commonwealth Games Federation to bring Williams in to compete in the 100m.

However, by the time the GCF gave that clearance, it proved challenging to get a flight out from the United States that would get the Jamaican sprinter into the UK on time.

A disappointed Williams made the announcement on social media on Monday.

“Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend the Commonwealth Games. The race is tomorrow (Tuesday) and I would’ve be getting in extremely late,” she said.

“Thanks to those who helped to try to speed up the process. Really wish I could have been there. Good luck to all the athletes competing.”

The 20-year-old Williams ran 10.94 to finish fourth at the Jamaica National Championships in June. She was a member of the island’s sprint relay squad that won the silver medal at the 2022 World Athletics Championships that concluded at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on July 24.

The Jamaica Olympic Association on Saturday issued a statement clarifying comments made by Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association treasurer Ludlow Watts regarding the payment for air travel for the Jamaican Track & Field delegation for the 2022 Commonwealth Games scheduled for July 28-August 8 in Birmingham.

“The Jamaica Olympic Association, given a report by Kayon Raynor regarding the travel arrangements in relation to the Commonwealth Games, is obliged to respond to state the facts and rehearse the same for the benefit of Mr. Ludlow Watts, JAAA's Treasurer, who is alleged to have made unfortunate comments concerning the matter,” the statement started.

It continued: "From time immemorial travel grants in relation to athletes and officials have been instituted by owners of regional and international games and this has not changed and all parties are aware of this fact.

Last year in relation to the Tokyo Olympic Games, travel agencies were identified with which member associations were advised to interface in making travel arrangements for their athletes and officials. The JAAA compiled and consulted a travel agency and made appropriate arrangements on behalf of their athletes and officials with the agency which is the said agency that is handling arrangements for the JAAA for the Commonwealth Games.

Mr. Watts, a seasoned manager, understands that the travel grant is a fixed sum and as obtained in relation to the Tokyo Olympics, is aware that travel arrangements should be made efficiently by his association to avoid increased costs.

In the report by Kayon Raynor, Mr. Watts fails to mention that the JAAA adhered to the policy with respect to the Tokyo Games and gives the impression that the JOA has the responsibility of dealing directly with member athletes of his governing body whose itineraries and attendant obligations are more known to the JAAA.

Based on the previous course of dealing respecting the Tokyo Olympic Games to which the JAAA adhered, the impression given is misconceived. What clearly is of concern to Mr. Watts, as keeper of the JAAA's treasury, is the risk of increased travel costs consequent upon the delay committed by his association in failing to provide a definitive list of athletes and officials with settled itineraries coupled with its continual reworking of lists of athletes and officials in a vain attempt to comply with the regulations of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

It is from this self-imposed risk that Mr. Watts is attempting to flee in "championship" style.

Furthermore, the JOA is alarmed that in the report of Kayon Raynor, Mr. Watts states that there is an overage of US$1,240.00 per person versus the individual travel grant when the JOA, to date, is still not in receipt from the JAAA of the itinerary costs of the track and field delegation.

All other member associations which have sports participating in the Commonwealth Games, in keeping with the established course of dealing, interfaced with their respective travel agencies, made appropriate bookings cost-effectively and are either comfortable in Birmingham or en route seamlessly.

Had Mr. Watts, as Chancellor of the Exchequer of the JAAA, complied with the CGF's regulations and refrained from providing lists that changed continually and are still changing to date he would not have found himself and place his association in this quandary.

Despite Mr Watts' failure to manage the process, the JOA, in the interest of Jamaica's athletes, will work with the travel agency with a view to having them attend the Games. Also, the JOA reminds Mr. Watts that it has never resiled from its obligation regarding travel costs and therefore his misstatement that the JOA is refusing to pay is ill-conceived. What he must consider is that the business of sport requires economic decisions to ensure viability."

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has admitted that it had only tested three of the four members of Jamaica’s Women U20 4x100m relay team on April 17, 2022, after they had established the now rejected world record set at the 2022 Carifta Games held at the National Stadium in Kingston

Meantime, Garth Gayle, President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), in describing the development as saddening, has indicated that his administration is planning to appeal the World Athletics decision to not ratify the record.

“We are saddened by the situation that four young ladies would be denied the record. The matter is still at a sensitive stage and we would have done the necessary appeals. We are still hopeful that the record will be ratified at a later stage,” he said.

World Athletics has rejected the ratification of the world record because not all members of the team were subjected to doping control. In a lengthy statement Wednesday, (JADCO) sought to explain the circumstances under which they failed to test all four members of the relay team.

“The event was won by the Jamaican team which was comprised of four female athletes. They completed the race with a world record of 42.58. Doping Control was conducted immediately on three of the female athletes,” the JADCO statement said.

“Since one of the athletes was already tested on the 16th of April 2022, a urine sample was not collected from this athlete on the 17th of April 2022. It is customary and in JADCO’s Best Practice in-competition, that if an athlete is tested today in-competition, the said athlete would not be tested the following day in-competition.”

JADCO claims it was instructed to carry out a specific number of tests for each day of the three-day championships that were being held in Jamaica for the first time since 2011.

“The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) was contracted by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) to 18 urine samples throughout the period of the 49th staging of the CARIFTA Games. The Commission was advised to carry 6 urine tests per day with testing being done on any athlete who achieved a national/world record.

On April 16, 2022, six athletes were tested – three Jamaican female athletes, two male Jamaican athletes and one male athlete from the Bahamas.

On April 17, the day the world record was broken, JADCO tested nine athletes – six Jamaican female athletes, one Jamaican male athlete, one female athlete from the US Virgin Islands and one male athlete from the Bahamas.

Six more athletes were tested on April 18, 2022 – three Jamaican male athletes, one Jamaican female athlete, one male athlete from Curacao and one female athlete from the Bahamas.

Going forward, JADCO said they will ensure that all athletes breaking records would be tested.

“The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission has recognized that World Athletics has declined to accept the result of the record-breaking performance of Jamaica’s Women’s U20 4x100m relay team on April 17, 2022, since one of the athletes previously tested by JADCO on April 16, 2022, was not tested on the day the record was broken,” the JADCO statement said.

“Whilst our testing conforms with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) protocols, going forward JADCO will ensure the testing of record-breaking athletes despite the frequency of testing.”

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The Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA) has pledged $3 million for its four-part Jubilee Series for senior athletes in a lead up to the World Championships to be held in July this year. 

The second meet will be held this Saturday, May 7 at the National Stadium starting at 5pm. 

The remaining events scheduled for May 7, 21 and June 4 will feature: 100m M/W, 200m M/W, 400m M/W, 400mH M/W, 100mH W, 110mH M, Long Jump (M/W), Discus (W/M).

“Track and field has been a major part of Jamaica’s history, and in the 60th year, we will continue to provide suitable competition for our senior athletes,” says JAAA President Garth Gayle.

“We thought we should offer our senior athletes an opportunity to sharpen their performances for the National Championships and other professional outings leading into the World Championships in July,” he added.

The events will be at the National Stadium and will run for two hours on each occasion running from 5 - 7 pm. As part of the offer, the JAAA will allow its dedicated fans to enter the Grandstand free of cost. 

The event is being held in partnership with the Sport Development Foundation (SDF) and PUMA.  

 

Garth Gayle, President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association and Jamaica’s sports minister Olivia Grange have hailed Elaine Thompson-Herah on her historic win of the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award on Sunday.

No Jamaican female athlete had ever taken home the prestigious award that began in 2000.

The Jamaican sprint queen won on the back of her historic achievements last summer when she became the first woman in Olympic history to win the 100/200m sprint double at consecutive Olympic Games and added a third gold medal to her trophy case when she ran the second leg of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team that won in a national record of 41.02.

She would go on to create even more history when she ran times of 10.54 to become the second-fastest woman of all time while winning the 100m in Eugene, Oregon, and then added times of 10.64 and 10.65 to be the only woman to run faster than 10.7 on four occasions.

Her achievements topped USA’s Allyson Felix (athletics), Australia’s Ashleigh Barty (tennis), Australia’s Emma McKeon (swimming) and USA’s Katie Ledecky and drew praise from the JAAA and the Jamaican government.

"Becoming the second Jamaican and the first female to win the prestigious Laureus Award is a significant achievement for Elaine and by extension Jamaica,” said Gayle.

“This is also a boost for women in track and field and other sports to aim for the highest. We are particularly proud of Elaine for her continuous achievements on and off the track. This definitely sets the tone for a great year for all our athletes.”

Meanwhile, in a missive from the United Kingdom where she will launch the Jamaica 60 programme of activities in the United Kingdom on Monday evening, Minister Grange said Thompson-Herah was most deserving of the honour of “best athlete in the world”.

“This latest success for the fastest woman alive is a tribute to Thompson-Herah’s hard work and sacrifice,” Minister Grange said.

Thompson-Herah is the second Jamaican to win the award. Usain Bolt, won the Laureus Sportsman of the Year in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2017.

 

 

 

As the CARIFTA Games return for the first time since 2019, SportsMax, the Caribbean’s premier sports and entertainment broadcaster, will broadcast the games live on its channels and Mobile App.

Cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the CARIFTA Games first held in 1973, returns to the Caribbean sports landscape with the promise from the broadcaster that it will be bigger and better than ever. Jamaica will host the Games scheduled for April 16-18 at the National Stadium in Kingston and SportsMax Limited, the holder of the broadcast rights, plans to take the broadcast to a whole new level.

SportsMax will produce the CARIFTA Games and broadcast on linear TV via its many cable partners across the region and on CEEN TV outside the Caribbean and on its SportsMax and SportsMax+ channels within the SportsMax App in addition to partnering with several free-to-air entities across the region, ensuring that fans get to see their favourite athletes engage in pulsating track and field action over the Easter Weekend.

When the CARIFTA Games get underway, SportsMax, through its partnership with the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) and the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC), will ensure that the action on the track and on the field will be seen live on CNC3 in Trinidad, CBC in Barbados, CVM TV in Jamaica and Winners TV in St Lucia.

SportsMax CEO, Nicolas Matthews has also assured that viewers are in for a unique experience.

 “SportsMax will bring its world-class expertise and team to deliver the highest level of production, bringing quality to viewers across the world like never seen before for CARIFTA. Our team of highly innovative, passionate and qualified professionals will ensure viewers get the best seat in the house. As the Caribbean’s leading broadcaster, we will showcase athletes on screen from across the region as they compete to see who is the Caribbean’s best.”

Matthews said the broadcast will be of the highest standard that will include elements that are sure to enhance the viewing experience.

“As the Home of Champions, we plan to give our audience the best viewing experience as never seen before for CARIFTA. We have prepared features highlighting athletes from the many competing countries. You can expect to view over 20 hours of live coverage with daily highlight packages. Our world-class production comes with our first-class commentary team including world-renowned Lance Whittaker, Ricardo Chambers and other expert analysts from around the region.”

“There will be interviews with past CARIFTA athletes, now greats, and other special guests.”

In addition to the live broadcast on SportsMax and the SportsMax app, viewers can find clips of the action on the SportsMax YouTube channel.

“We look forward to a great competition and SportsMax will ensure a true track and field broadcast, where CARIFTA gets the quality attention it deserves,” Matthews concluded.

 

 

World-leader in the 60m hurdles Danielle Williams, Britany Anderson and Natoya Goule are among the medal contenders named to Jamaica’s team to the World Indoor Championships in Serbia from March 18-20.

Williams set a world-leading time of 7.75 at Clemson on February 11, which makes her a medal favourite for the championships. Anderson, 21, ran a lifetime best of 7.82 in Louisville, Kentucky, making her fourth-best in the world this year. Besides her compatriot, only Americans Kendra Harrison and Alia Armstrong, who have both run 7.81 have gone faster.

Goule, who ran world-leading times twice so far this season, has the second-fastest time in the world over 800m this indoor season. Her 1:58:46 set in France on February 17, is only bettered by Keely Hodgkinson's 1:57.20 set in Birmingham on February 19.

The 19-member team also includes Briana Williams, whose 7.09 makes her the second-fastest Jamaican and sixth-fastest in the world over 60m this year and Shericka Jackson, whose personal best of 7.12 makes her the third-fastest Jamaican and tied for 14th in the world for 2022.

The female dominant team also includes Danielle Thomas-Dodd for the shot put, Kimberly Williams in the triple jump as well as Roneisha McGregor and Stephenie-Ann McPherson for the 400m.

 Junelle Bromfield, who is an alternate for the 400m, Tiffany James, Tovea Jenkins, Janieve Russell as well as McPherson and McGregor comprise the 4x400m relay squad.

Christopher Taylor has been named for the 400m while Ronald Levy will go in the 60m hurdles and Nigel Ellis will compete in the 60m dash.

The Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) has congratulated middle-distance runner Natoya Goule for establishing a new national indoor 800m record in France on Thursday.

In a bid to provide its senior athletes with competition as they prepare for the National Championships and other international competitions including the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, later this year, the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), in partnership with the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), has launched a series of four meets dubbed the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series.

The first meet is set to take place on Saturday, February 19 at the National Stadium in Kingston and will begin at 5 pm and end at 7:30 pm.

Each meeting will have 14 individual events with four of them designated as Premium events. The selected premium events for the first meet are the 400m for men and women and the discus for men and women.

 At the end of the premium events, the top three finishers, providing they meet a set minimum standard, will earn a total of one hundred thousand dollars. Winners will receive $50,000, athletes finishing second will win $30,000.00 while third place athletes will bank $20,000.00.  

“It’s up to us to ensure that our athletes, especially those based locally, are given as much assistance as possible in their preparation,” said JAAA President Garth Gayle.

“We have limited resources but thanks to the SDF, who has decided to partner with us, we are able to offer some financial incentive.”

Denzil Wilks, General Manager of the Sports Development Foundation, said his organization is happy to play its part.

“Jamaica’s standing in this sport is second to none. This speaks volumes of the organization that runs the sport locally. The SDF has worked with the JAAA over the years and we have never been disappointed. We have always received value for money. This is just a continuation of that long-standing partnership,” he said.

 Junior athletes will compete earlier in the day between 8:30 and 5:00 pm.

No approval for spectators was granted for the first meet, with only athletes, officials and medical personnel to be allowed entry. Only one meet will be staged in February, with the other three scheduled for between May and June.

Registration for the meet closes on Wednesday, February 16 at 6 pm.

 

 

 

 

Richard Pandohie, the Chief Executive Officer of the Seprod Group of Companies, has been named patron of the 2022 Carifta Games.

 As the patron, Pandohie will be the primary spokesperson for the event and will use his traditional and social media platforms to promote the Games scheduled for Kingston from April 16 - 18.

An estimated 500 athletes from across the region are expected to compete at what will be the 49th staging of the event.

 Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, Mikel Fennell, made the announcement at the weekly meeting on Friday.

 “It’s a happy day when on behalf of the LOC, we can welcome our patron. He is one of the brightest minds representing business in the corporate sector, having transformed the Seprod Group of Companies into one of the most dynamic companies in the region,” Fennell said. 

 “His association with the Games which seeks to convert the lives of young people in the same way as he has done with the manufacturing and distribution company makes him a natural fit for this role.”

 In accepting, Pandohie said he is aware of the magnitude of the appointment.

 “I understand fully the role I have to perform,” he said. “There is so much in Jamaica that comes with what sport (track and field) has to offer in the process of developing world-beaters.

 JAAA President Garth Gayle acknowledged Pandohie’s appointment saying that his contribution will be of “tremendous value, not just to the Games, but to track and field in Jamaica.” 

 

 

The Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA) has confirmed that Jamaica will host the 49th Junior Carifta Track and Field Games in Kingston from April 16 – 18, 2022 at a cost of just under US$1 million.

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports says she supports the country’s intention to host the 2022 Carifta Games but warns that that will only happen once the necessary approvals and required funding are achieved.

President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) had announced that his association had been given the green light to host the Games next Easter during a Special Congress of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association on Saturday.

Jamaica’s move came after Guyana, which was supposed to host in 2022, indicated that it would be unable to fulfil its obligation.

On Wednesday, Minister Grange appeared to back Gayle saying it would be a timely venture considering that Jamaica celebrates 60 years of independence in 2022.

“I am in full support of Jamaica hosting the 2022 Carifta Games as a part of the country’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations with the National Stadium in Kingston being the venue,” she said about the competition that would take place between April 16 – 18.

“When news came that the selected host for 2022, Guyana, was unable to fulfil the obligation, it was felt that the only country which could step up to the plate at such short notice would be Jamaica. Not just because of the ongoing dominance of our athletes, but because of our experience in staging similar events with athletes in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Following the cancellation of the 110-year-old ISSA Boys and Girls Championships because of the pandemic in March 2020, Jamaica successfully staged the championships in May and then the National Athletic Championships in June. The island also hosted several track meets including the Jamaica Olympic Association-backed Olympic Destiny Series leading up to the national championships.

“We are very proud of the successful staging of the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships (CHAMPS) earlier this year. We have no doubt that we are equal to the task of staging the Carifta Games next year,” Minister Grange said.

“With the cancellation of this important event (Carifta) for 2020 and 2021, junior athletes have missed out on the opportunity to gauge where they are at this critical stage of their development. Therefore, I feel that no effort should be spared in us trying to host the 2022 event.

“I have indicated to the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) and the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) that as Minister I would do my best to assist in making it possible. Carifta is of course the premier event for junior athletes across the CARICOM region with athletes competing in two age categories: under-17 and under-20.”

However, the minister was quick to indicate that all the necessary elements needed to be in place before the government would be able to give its full blessing.

“I must say, however, that although Jamaica is interested in hosting the event, it is subject to several approvals and sign-offs as well as the requisite funding. The Ministry is therefore working very closely with the JAAA and NCACAC to satisfy all the requirements in order for me to make an official announcement,” she said.

 “It is in our best interest to do everything to have the Games held here.  Among all the other good reasons, our tourism, hotels in Kingston in particular, will definitely benefit.”  

 

Following the cancellation of the Carifta Games in Bermuda earlier this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Jamaica is in line to host the Games during the Easter Weekend in 2022.

The development comes as Garth Gayle, President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) announced at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Special Congress on Saturday, that Jamaica’s Sports Minister Olivia Grange has given a green light to the Games.

According to Gayle, Minister Grange is of the view that hosting the Carifta Games would be an ideal fit with the government’s plans for a year-long celebration of the country’s Diamond Jubilee as an independent nation.

The Carifta Games were scheduled to be held in Bermuda earlier this year but was eventually cancelled because of spikes in the spread of the Covid-19 virus in that country. Usually held during the Easter weekend, the Games were first moved to July 2-4 and then to August 13-15 before it was eventually cancelled in May.

Jamaica last hosted the Carifta Games in 2011.

The very successful staging of the inaugural Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA)/Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) ‘Olympic Destiny’ track and field series has arrested the attention of the global sporting fraternity in a manner that has left experts shouting "bravo".

In a publication, World Athletics stated that the series is "aptly named JOA/JAAA ‘Olympic Destiny’. The Washington Post newspaper in the United States also had the event on its radar with a report on the explosive world-leading 10.63 performance of sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100 metres.

Performances during the series were also captured in traditional and new media entities worldwide.

Although only in its first year, ‘Olympic Destiny’ has already earned a reputation locally and internationally as a standard-bearer in track and field, which the JOA and its member association, the JAAA, intend to guard jealously.

Contemplating current health challenges and risks and looking to the future, President of the JOA, Christopher Samuda, in a post-event interview, stated that, "Olympic Destiny gave athletes a new and inspired lease on life amidst the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the national senior trials will be the 'Olympic Verdict' as athletes vie for coveted places at the pinnacle multi-sport the Olympic Games”.

The description, ‘Olympic Verdict’, of the national senior trials, is on point as several events, including the 100m, 200m, 110m hurdles and the triple jump for both men and women, as well as the discus for men, are expected to be competitive and showstoppers.

Secretary-General and CEO of the JOA, Ryan Foster, in anticipating keen contests, remarked that "on D-day at the national senior trials, diplomacy will somewhat give way to assertive rivalry for at the end of it all there will be one verdict, which performances will deliver.”

This year's national senior trials between June 24 and 27 at the National Stadium is indeed the ‘Olympic Verdict’ as "emerging generations will meet experienced campaigners in a decider that will be healthy for the sport, thrilling for the fans and ensure succession," Foster said.

The jury will certainly not be out where the staging of future Destiny series is concerned as the JOA intends to roll out ‘Olympic Destiny’ in 2022 and beyond in athletics and other sports.

"Olympic Destiny is now a staple on the calendar as we have earmarked the summer and winter Games as dramatic watershed events of exciting times ahead of us,'' Samuda declared.

If the significant turnout of athletes and the notable performances are anything to go by, the ‘Olympic Destiny’ Series will become not only a local product of Olympism but an international asset.

 

The JAAA has secured at least one international race for Jamaica’s men’s 4x100m relay squad as they attempt to a secure spot at the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

A Jamaican quartet will race at a World Athletics Continental Tour track and field meet to be held at Prairie View, Houston, Texas on May 25.

“So far Nigeria and Canada are down to compete in the race,” said JAAA General Secretary Marie Tavares. “But we understand that I least one other team will be involved.”

Jamaica is provisionally qualified in 11th position with the top 16 teams to be accepted into the relay pool at the Olympics. That qualifying time (38.15) was achieved in the semifinals of the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, 2019. 

The need for a race escalated after Jamaica was forced to withdraw from the IAAF World Relays which took place in Poland last weekend.

 This past weekend, a team of Asafa Powell, Julian Forte, Yohan Blake and Oshane Bailey posted a time of 38.33, the second-fastest in the world this year.

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